Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Ferrara Household!

A couple of shots of my parents' puppy's first Christmas...

Lily patiently waiting for Santa in her new (monogrammed) shirt from Mommy

Santa did well

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

#26 Acts

In light of the recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut last week, I wanted to share something that Ann Curry has initiated which I think can truly serve as an inspiration to us all: 

"After being in Newtown, I woke up the next morning and thought about what could be done. What is the answer to this kind of national suffering?  And I remembered a moment on the edge of Darfur, when I came upon a woman who was elderly and in the hospital, recovering from burns after an attack by Janjaweed militias. She was surrounded in the hospital, by younger women carrying babies, and I asked her to tell the story of how she had suffered these terrible burns all over her body. I learned that she had tried to rescue her invalid husband when her village was attacked and her house was set on fire. She tried to carry her husband out of her house and stayed so long that the thatched roof of her house came down, the hot embers giving her 3rd degree burns.  But she was unable to save her husband. Her husband died.

I remember walking out of that hospital, and the producer saw the look on my face. He said, “Are you okay?” And I said, “No.” And without even thinking, I remember going to our team van and pulling out a Polaroid camera I had brought on that trip. And then I went to all of these women with their children who were in the  courtyard of the hospital, knowing that they had never owned a photograph – ever – of their child. I went around from woman to woman, and I took pictures of them, I took pictures of them with their child, or just of their child alone – without even thinking, just snapping pictures. The first time I did it, I remember giving a photograph to a woman, and she looked at this black square with this quizzed look on her face, and I said, “Just wait one minute! Just wait one minute,” holding up one finger. And then I watched her face melt as she watched her child’s face slowly appear on that Polaroid. It made me feel better. So I went from mother to mother to mother until I ran out of film. After the experience in Newtown. I thought, “What if? Imagine if everyone could commit to doing one act of kindness for every one of those children killed in Newtown.” So that’s what I tweeted. And guess what? People committed. I said in my tweet, “I’m in. RT if you’re in.” Not only did they commit to 20 acts of kindness, they wanted to up it to 26 acts of kindness for every child and adult who was lost at the school. Some even debated maybe we should include the mother, who died, at 27 acts. Some debated maybe we should include the killer as well as he was struggling and in pain. 

I think it’s up to you. Commit to how many acts of kindness you want to. It’s really your choice."
So, what act(s) of kindness can you commit today to honor those who lost their lives in Newtown? I'm on my way with 2 completed and 24 to go... after all, kindness is contagious

Friday, December 14, 2012

Save the Dates!

Believe it or not, tomorrow marks 175 days until Anthony and I get married! We're so excited and planning the wedding has been a ton of fun. I've been documenting everything we've been doing, so I'll definitely have endless planning posts to come post-wedding.

Here's a little something that I can share with you now that I've put them in the mail... our SAVE THE DATES! My friend Michelle introduced me to the website where they have endless save-the-date options for all types of couples. We chose the below design because we thought it was classic and fun, plus we could match the border to our wedding colors:

Since you're ordering online and it's a bit hard to sense exactly what the save the date will look like, Minted will send you samples of as many invitations as you'd like. They also always have sales (10-15% off) which can make a big difference for a large order! And obviously they're not just for wedding items... Minted has holiday cards, stationary, and much more.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pulled Pork Sliders and More...

Welp, Jenelle and I hosted yet another exciting Christmas party this year! Although it was a bit crowded (more than 35 people squeezed into my tiny apartment!), it was very fun and I'm extremely grateful to have such wonderful friends to spend the holidays with.

I'm not going to go into as much detail as last year's holiday post, but I will say there were two big hits on the table this year. The first, of course, were the chicken bacon wraps (I'm telling you, they're a guaranteed party hit). The second, were my pulled pork sliders with homemade coleslaw. I got the recipe here on Paula Deen's website and turned them into bite-sized sliders since I was only serving appetizers (one batch of Paula's recipe will make approximately 24 sliders). Best part about these babies? You leave them in the slow cooker ALL DAY and then prepare them to serve right before everyone arrives. I also, personally, think that coleslaw is much better the day after making it, so I prepared the slaw the night before the party and refrigerated it in Tupperware (then left it out for an hour or so before stacking it on the pork so it could get to room temp).

Here's a little pic:

You'll noticed some baked brie in the corner which was delicious as well! I got it here on Pillsbury's website and it's wrapped in Pillsbury Crescent Rolls... YUM! Then topped it with a bit of raspberry preserve.

I got so wrapped up in cooking everything this year that I forgot to whip out my Canon and take pictures on the way. So, here's (one of) my New Year's resolutions: Take better pictures along the way for Travels, Tastings and Tales! I made my first attempt on my guacamole post, so hopefully they keep getting better :)